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j12torts
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The Contender
MilesandMilesofMiles
Pro (for)
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The reason for poverty in third world countries are rich countries exploiting

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,249 times Debate No: 32581
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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j12torts

Con

I don't think you can blame poverty of third world countries on rich countries exploiting them alone. There are other factors. Your thoughts?
MilesandMilesofMiles

Pro

So lets agree to limiting the historical examples to the 20th century onward.

Theodor Roosevelt defined the role of developing countries best, that the responsibility of 3rd world nations is to supply labor and raw materials for Western nations to consume. This has pretty much been the case and the US has taken military action (in Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Indonesia) to ensure that this status quo is upheld. This is why most manufactured goods have little 'Made in Vietnam' or 'Made in El Salvador' marking on them.

Many countries' foreign policy has been very linked with their economic growth from the time of the cold war and into today. Conflicts have actually been started"primarily during the cold war"in south American and Indochina due to CIA plotted coups of democratically elected leaders. The reason behind this was that their domestic economic policies would not cater to the rapid globalization undergoing in the US and other western nations' economies. This economic shift in many 3rd world countries devastated their populations. South Americans began only growing cash crops for export to the global markets leading to huge famine. In Chile the US actually installed the Fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet after a CIA involved military coup overthrew the democratically elected leader.

What this does to the workforce, both domestically and internationally is worse. Businesses who lobby for what is known as free trade agreements effectively allows them take the production jobs to countries overseas. The reason they would want to do this is that the US workforce have conditions. These being a certain number of hours worked a week, compensation for workplace accidents you get the picture. Now if these companies want to do business overseas? thats fine. If they want to take jobs away from their own country? Ok lets say thats fine. If they want to exploit the workforce over there too, ok lets for arguments say ok thats ok too. BUT AT LEAST the government should not subsidize after all this. But yet they do.

It would be somewhat redeeming if these businesses could sell their products there, but the population is generally too poor because of them that it would be unprofitable. Why can't south Americans make clothing and food for themselves, and eastern Asians raise their standard of living before manufacturing microchips and LCDs? The answer is that colonial empires may have fallen, but they were replaced by economic globalization.
Debate Round No. 1
j12torts

Con

you said..
"So lets agree to limiting the historical examples to the 20th century onward."

Ok the fact that you are already limiting your examples to 20th century onward is not good for debate. Because like all things in life there are cause and effect to things. So I am not gonna stick to 20th century only, for the sake of a good debate.

Wealth and prosperity comes through proper allocation and use of resources around you. That means having the right tools for efficiency and maximization of output. These things cannot come about without technology and technology cannot come about without knowledge.

The fact that western countries are wealthy and able to produce maximum output is because of technology. Western countries were ahead of other countries during the Industrial Revolution. The fact that the industrial revolution came about in the first place because you had people like Newton, Otto, Edison, Ford who thought about these things and develop a cheap, efficient and easy way to do things. With limited resources they were able to maximize output that benefit everyone. If my country, which is in Asia had the Industrial Revolution before western countries, I'm sure it would be a dominant force today.

Everybody started out as a tribe, I mean look at the Vikings (people from norway, sweden, finland) they started out as a tribe, making fires by wood and stones. But look at Norway, Sweden and Finland now, they were able to catch up with technology. Look at Japan, it was a sleepy farming country now it is an industrialized country. Countries like Japan were able to build their own version of Industrial Revolution which maximizes their output and efficiency. Wealth is created through efficiency and technology in these countries, because lets face it it is through technology and engineering alone that solves mankind's economic woes and demise.

you said..
"Theodor Roosevelt defined the role of developing countries best, that the responsibility of 3rd world nations is to supply labor and raw materials for Western nations to consume. This has pretty much been the case and the US has taken military action (in Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Indonesia) to ensure that this status quo is upheld. This is why most manufactured goods have little 'Made in Vietnam' or 'Made in El Salvador' marking on them."

Well that is Teddy's definition. Politics have always been a screw up since the beginning. But that is not why a country is wealthy as I have explained before. Politics and Science will never go hand in hand.

you said..
"Many countries' foreign policy has been very linked with their economic growth from the time of the cold war and into today. Conflicts have actually been started"primarily during the cold war"in south American and Indochina due to CIA plotted coups of democratically elected leaders. The reason behind this was that their domestic economic policies would not cater to the rapid globalization undergoing in the US and other western nations' economies. This economic shift in many 3rd world countries devastated their populations. South Americans began only growing cash crops for export to the global markets leading to huge famine. In Chile the US actually installed the Fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet after a CIA involved military coup overthrew the democratically elected leader."

That is very interesting because while that may be the motive behind America's installation of dictators and their foreign policy, you have to remember that the United States started out as 13 British colonies in the east coast with nothing but a hammer, a gun, a sickle and a few luggages. It wouldn't have this massive influence in other countries if it didn't have its own Industrial Revolution. A powerful armyy is built one soldier at a time, as the saying goes.

Also the United States could have easily decided to stay with the crown of England but the early colonists realized that liberty and freedom goes hand in hand with economic freedom. America wouldn't have been the superpower it is today if it hasn't fought the British for independence, expanded westward and that takes a lot of risk to do. Also uniting 50 states together under one banner is big undertaking. Unity is another reason for creating wealth. I mean if China had their Industrial Revolution way before the US, I'm sure they would have done the same thing and probably expanded to other parts of Asia.

you said..
"What this does to the workforce, both domestically and internationally is worse. Businesses who lobby for what is known as free trade agreements effectively allows them take the production jobs to countries overseas. The reason they would want to do this is that the US workforce have conditions. These being a certain number of hours worked a week, compensation for workplace accidents you get the picture. Now if these companies want to do business overseas? thats fine. If they want to take jobs away from their own country? Ok lets say thats fine. If they want to exploit the workforce over there too, ok lets for arguments say ok thats ok too. BUT AT LEAST the government should not subsidize after all this. But yet they do."

If you ever owned a business or a company you would want low labour cost to produce the product or services you want. Everything has a price tag, even manufacturing things. I mean that makes perfect business sense. That is not exploitation that is normal business trend. Since the beginning of time, mankind has always wanted more for less.

If you were the owner of a car company that manufactures engines and you have people who are willing to work $2 per hr versus $20 per hour, where would you manufacture?? Considering your debt obligations plus the cost of producing plus the cost of paying a metal supplier, I assume you would pick the $2 per hr one, to ensure your business stays alive and also leaves you more room for savings and expansion.

The reason the government subsidize it is because they know if that business makes profit, it will reinvest it back to the country, so the government is in favor of those who produce. The companies also get taxed, so if they make more profit the government gets more tax revenue, which it can spend in social programs or building roads and bridges. It's good for everyone. If you invest in oil exploration you get tax cuts because oil is essential to economy. Government always likes people who invest in things that would benefit everybody such as oil, gas etc..

you said...
"It would be somewhat redeeming if these businesses could sell their products there, but the population is generally too poor because of them that it would be unprofitable. Why can't south Americans make clothing and food for themselves, and eastern Asians raise their standard of living before manufacturing microchips and LCDs? The answer is that colonial empires may have fallen, but they were replaced by economic globalization."

South America can produce clothing for themselves if they want to. Like I said technology is the key to mass production of goods which leads to higher sales. Technological progress only comes about if the population embrace it. But in some countries you have corruption and a mentality that hinders progress, which makes any technological advancement very difficult. Thus keeping people in their economic demise and woes. I mean look at Singapore, it was once a British colony but is now one of the richest countries in Asia. They were able to use their limited land resources and maximize output through proper allocation of resources and investment in technologies and export their products (which is ship building) to the world. That's why they are wealthy.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Pro

MilesandMilesofMiles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
j12torts

Con

Ok it seems that my opponent has forfeited that round but I'd like to thank him for putting his view out there.
MilesandMilesofMiles

Pro

Ok, I think you've missed the bulk of my argument. Because you chose to dissect and critique my argument and hardly fleshed out your own argument, it seems like the majority of your last post was spent elaborating on the lack of understanding you have for many of the historical examples I provided.

I chose to focus on the 20th century specifically because prior the 'global economy' didn't really exists as it does today. Yes there was international trade before then, but until the industrial revolution came about communication and transportation were significantly slower and more arduous processes. Also if you remember that up until around 1949 we had this thing called colonization which I think we can all agree is the definition of rich countries exploiting the developing world.

Since I'm not going to go back over exactly every one of my points and clarify them to you I'll give you the most general overview I have.
If you look at a map of the GDP (http://en.wikipedia.org...) you can China, the US, and most of western Europe are the ones with all the money. These countries are known as the G20 (http://en.wikipedia.org...). The very 'Acre of Diamonds' approach you have to a nations' wealth is so over simplistic it's laughable. First of all, like the government here in the US and almost everywhere else, the people are totally divorced from the ruling administration in the 3rd world. Almost all around the world, leaders from Philippines to the Congo to the Dominican republic, all subordinate themselves to the economic demands of the G20. Their demands are simple: maximum output and production for export to the countries with higher GDP's, and minimal domestic production or consumption of goods. The reason why they want little domestic consumption is because why or even how could someone working for $ .60 an hour buy a $24 shirt, or a $7 pound of coffee?

You say business is business. Fair. If proper business is paying people who toil in fields of assembly lines next to nothing to maximize profits for the people who sit in office high rises thinking of ways to cut costs even further then your have a very warped outlook on proper business. If this is not how you think a proper business is conducted well then realize this is how all product-based businesses are conducted.

So my counter point to your 'why don't countries or the citizens of them just pick themselves up by the bootstraps and start a whole uplift in the standard of living' is that the richer countries have already made sure"to a T"that would never ever happen. They've done this by:

" Installing rulers who will suppress groups advocating for a higher standard of living (non-government union are illegal in many places and it is mandated that there can be no laws defining how long a work day is or what the minimum wage should be in many manufacturing countries)

" Getting banks like the IMF or Worldbank to oversee foreign investments and make sure that the economy is producing at a maximum rate to pay back that countries debt (many countries are made to only grow cash crops like coca and coffee which the population of course cannot eat resulting in a famine. What this also does is rapidly syphon any wealth that may have been produced by globalization, because everything that is exported goes to paying back the central bank's debt and not the improving the overall standard of living. http://en.wikipedia.org...)

" Sending military force to oust leaders or groups who may disrupt this parasitic relationship between the first and third world nations. (We've seen this in the past. The US cries communism in regard to a popular uprising that promises liberal economic and social reforms and follows up usually with military force. http://www.bendyglu.domainepublic.net...)

So if your a citizen of the third world looking for a way to raise your standard of living, you aren't left with many options. The G20 governments has the government, economy, and military of these countries 'by the balls' if you will. If you're looking for some good books on the subject I would highly recommend Endless Enemies by Jonathan Kwinty and Thank God They're on Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships by David Schmitz, both books go into great detail about whats going on in the world in regard to international economics.

So you can see that not only are the richer countries responsable for the perpetual state of poverty so many other countries are in, it actually enforces this state of poverty quite openly and has aggressively gone after anyone who poses the threat of higher standards of living, better sanitation, corporate responsibility, and a livable wage, all of which are readily available, easily implementable, and not at a cost to you, the consumer.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by gordonjames 4 years ago
gordonjames
I think your wording is a little to vague.
"The reason for poverty in third world countries are rich countries exploiting"

Countries can refer to
the official government
the military (not always fully in line with government)
the people (as individuals in control of business)
the consumers (as a group who choose where to spend their $$)
Multinational corporations (with offices in a country)

Then there is the problem of defining "rich countries" and "poor countries" although
Per capita income as a measure of prosperity could work
Per capita income linked to cost of living is probably better

Another issue to be clarified would be "income equality" (the GINI coefficient)
http://en.wikipedia.org...

My quick take on this subject is that it is too broad for a good debate.

If I were to debate a subject like this I would want to state that human nature rather than political oppression is the major reason for extreme poverty.

even with that said, there are many extreme cased of poverty, death and famine that are politically motivated. http://www.hawaii.edu...
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